Lee Valley Tools    Gardening Newsletter
   Vol. 7, Issue 5
   August 2012
 
   A Beautiful Garden — Dirt Cheap!
 

Start With a Plan
Every garden, from colossal to cramped should begin on paper. Your plan may need tweaking according to what's available and what grows best in your area, but having a starting point will save you time and money that might otherwise be wasted on mistakes.

Begin by measuring the garden you have or the area you would like to transform. It's helpful to make a sketch of what you'd like to see growing there, but first take a stroll around the block to see what wows you in the neighborhood. These are the plants that will do best in your garden. Impressed with a neighbor's efforts? Why not introduce yourself and ask for some advice, or ask if you can take a photo for inspiration? Once you have an idea of what you want in your garden, you can strive to make it happen on the cheap. Having some plants in mind will help you keep an eye out for deals and, as with any budget, having a list will prevent impulse purchases.

Some Considerations
A perennial garden is a great return on investment, as it provides blooms year after year. Note how much space your chosen plants will need, both in height and width, when they reach maturity. Choose plants that will keep your garden blooming throughout the season. Remain open to different options but have some general ideas as you picture your garden in full bloom.

Growing your own vegetables can lower your grocery bill, plus there's nothing like the taste of vegetables straight from the patch. It doesn't mean you have to dig up half the backyard. Why not dot a few around the garden instead of investing in annual bedding plants? Peas on a trellis, beets or salad greens along a sunny border or potatoes in a deep planter look as pretty in the garden as they do on your plate. Herbs are a delicious addition as well. Chives, rosemary and thyme add interest to your garden and spice up your meals, too.

Zucchini plant
A single plant may provide dozens of zucchini while it brightens the garden with its beautiful blooms. Plant it at the edge of a raised bed so it can loll over the side.
 
 
             
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